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QEII athletics track goes to a good cause

Wednesday 8 August 2012

QEII athletics track goes to a good cause

Christchurch City Council has donated pieces of the historic QEII athletics track to the New Zealand Spinal Trust, who are offering them as unique pieces of memorabilia in a fundraising auction.

Over 100 pieces of the track, which was irreparably damaged in the February 2011 earthquake, have been salvaged from QEII Park Recreation and Sport Centre by the New Zealand Spinal Trust. They have been numbered, mounted and transformed into collector’s items, and are now available online on Trade Me. The auctions will close on Friday 10 August.

Four pieces of note – such as the exact spot where Dick Tayler famously fell triumphantly onto his back after winning the 10,000 metre race at the 1974 Commonwealth Games – have been specially mounted. They include photographs, memorial plaques and the signatures of the athletes behind the stories: Tayler, Sir John Walker and Tanzania’s Filbert Bayi have provided signatures to relevant pieces.

The track’s entire finishing line – recovered intact by the Trust – will be presented to Mayor Bob Parker, who will accept on behalf of the city.

Christchurch City Council Recreation and Sports Unit Manager John Filsell says, “This is a touching gesture from the New Zealand Spinal Trust to our community. We’re hoping to have this piece of Christchurch history on display in the new athletics facility once it’s built – a passing of the baton of sorts.”

Demolition of most of the QEII Park Recreation and Sport Centre is to begin soon and will take about 18 weeks.

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